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Fri 11/05/2018

Housie

Fridays 3.pm

Mon 14/05/2018

Mahjong

Mondays 12.15 pm

Club History

Origins:

In 1903, 13 men - among them the Mayor of Lower Hutt and a past Mayor - met at The Central Hotel,  Aglionby St and resolved to form The Hutt Bowling and Lawn Tennis Club. A horse paddock of 1½ acres was purchased for £500 by way of debentures. Within a year the asphalt tennis courts were opened and a month later a bowling green. There is no record of any funds being collected or disbursed to develop the courts or the green, so the founding members must have financed it themselves. In 1908 further land was purchased (the area now covered by the car park and the Gibbes-Watson Conservatory) but this over committed the club's resources and a club member T.M.Wilford - the local MP - purchased part of it back to save the club. In 1911 a croquet lawn opened and the club became the Hutt Bowling, Tennis and Croquet Club. So it remained until 1968 when the decline of the population in Central Hutt led to a decline in membership and both the tennis and croquet sections were wound up.

The Greens:

The original full size green (the present No.2) remained the only one until 1922 when the tennis courts were moved and a smaller green added. As late as the 1930s this was used as an extra croquet lawn until the membership grew over 100. This green was enlarged slightly in 1953.

The Pavilion:

the pavilion 1920

Prior to the first Pavilion being built at the eastern end of the property, in 1906, members had to be satisfied with tents. The Pavilion was extended in 1928 and again in 1947. The need for further expansion - the membership had grown to 240 by 1961 - and expensive maintenance costs saw the building of the current 'Clubhouse', which subsequently has had a number of modifications to cater for the changing liquor laws and socialising habits of members.  The building was further remodelled in 2005 when women became members of the club. The club is fortunate to have comfortable facilities in a central location in the Hutt and has a wide group of community groups who make use of them.

The Bowlers:

The club reached maximum numbers in 1974 with 272 members and a waiting list which kept the numbers around 250 until 1990. There has been a steady decrease since then with the membership hovering around 200. There is no doubt that opening up the club to women bowlers has kept the playing membership up.

Norm Lash3The club has produced its share of outstanding bowlers and among those who achieved wide recognition nationally are; Arthur Webster who represented NZ at the 1954 Empire Games; Colin Simon who represented NZ on a tour of South Africa in 1968; Norman Lash (see photo, left) who was a gold and bronze medal winner at the first World Bowls Championships in Sydney 1966 (whilst a Member of the Carlton Club in Auckland); George Littlejohn who never represented NZ but won two National Titles and reached four other finals/semi-finals, stretching between 1941 and 1956, and was described by some of the top bowlers of the day as the greatest lead ever produced in NZ.

In administration the Club has produced three National Presidents, W.F. (Bill) Hadwin 1950-51; C. H. (Chas) Hain 1962-63 and who was also manager of the NZ Bowls team to the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth; J.S. (John) Carter 2003-2005 and then has been Chairman of the Board of Bowls NZ 2003 - 12 before coming the Asia Oceania Director on the World Bowls Board 2012 - 2014. 

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